Chinese Municipalities:Tianjin - the doorway to Beijing and the largest port city in North China


China Territory  Updated: Sat, Jul 21, 2012 08:36 AM   By HugChina


Chinese municipalities,Tianjin


Tianjin Municipality 天津 is located in North China. Tianjin is the doorway to Beijing and the largest port city in North China. Places of interests include the Dagu Fort, Wanghailou Church, Temple of Great Compassion, etc.

General information

Area (City) 4,335 square km

Area (Metro) 11,917 square km

Population: 11.76 million (2007)

Coordinates: 38°34'-40°15'N 116°43'-118°04'E

January Average Temperature: -4ºC (24.8 ºF)

July Average Temperature: 26.8ºC ( 80.24ºF)

Average Frost Free Days: 196-246 days/year

Average Elevation: 2-5 meters

Annual Rainfall: 520-660 mm

Annual Sunshine: 2,500-2,900 hours

Phone Area Code: 22

Postal Code: 300000

Tianjin (Chinese: 天津; pinyin: Tiānjīn) is the sixth largest city of the People’s Republic of China in terms of urban population. Administratively it is one of the four municipalities that haveprovincial-level status, reporting directly to the central government. Also, its urban land area is the fifth largest in China, ranked only after Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Geography of Tianjin

Tianjin is located at the lower reaches of the Haihe River, its territory lying on both sides of the river. Besides Haihe, several other rivers also run into the sea through the area, such as the New Ziya River, the Duliujian River, the New Yongding River, the New Chaobai River and Canal Ji. The distance from the city proper to the sea coast is 50 km and that to Beijing is 120 km. It is an important passage by sea to Beijing, having served as an important fort and doorway to Beijing since ancient times. It is also a communication hub linking north China, northeast China and northwest China. The direct distance from Tianjin to Shenyang in northeast China, to Baotou in northwest China and to Xuzhou and Zhengzhou in the south is less than 600 km. The city boasts the largest man-made harbor in the north; its Tianjin Port is an important passage linking a dozen of provinces and cities in the north with the sea. With more than 30 navigation routes leading to more than 300 international ports, it serves as a major channel linking the continents of Asia and Europe by sea. Tianjin's geographical position and strategic importance is unmatchable.

Climate of Tianjin

The city is located in the middle latitudes on the east bank of the European-Asian continent, facing the Pacific. The monsoon circulating winds bring a sharp impact on the city. In winter, wind often blows from the north because of the cold high pressure from Mongolia. In summer, affected by the subtropical high pressure from the western Pacific, the city sees much southerly wind. It has a semi-moist warm temperate continental monsoon climate, with an apparent feature of transit from continental climate to marine climate: there are four clearly divided seasons, but the duration of each is different; precipitation is not high, with uneven distribution over the year. Monsoon wind is high and sunshine is adequate. Located near the seacoast, the city has a strong continental climate. The annual average temperature is 12.3C. The hottest month is July, during which the average temperature can reach 26C. January is the coldest month, its average temperatures being -4C. The yearly average rainfall is 550-680 mm, 80% of which is concentrated in summer.

Economy of Tianjin

The nominal GDP for Tianjin was 635.4 billion yuan (US$90 billion) in 2008, a year-on-year increase of 16.5%.

In 2008, per capita GDP was 55,473 yuan. The manufacturing sector was the largest (60.1%) and fastest-growing (18.2%) sector of Tianjin’s economy. Urban disposable income per capita was 19,423 yuan, a real increase of 18.7% from the previous year. Rural pure income per capita was 9,670 yuan, a real increase of 10.5% from the previous year.

Farmland takes up about 40% of Tianjin Municipality’s total area. Wheat, rice, and maize are the most important crops. Fishing is important along the coast. Tianjin is also an important industrial base. Major industries include petrochemical industries, textiles, car manufacturing, mechanical industries, and metalworking.

Tianjin Municipality also has deposits of about 1 billion tonnes of petroleum, with Dagang District containing important oilfields. Salt production is also important, with Changlu Yanqu being one of China’s most important salt production areas. Geothermal energy is another resource of Tianjin. Deposits of manganese and boron under Tianjin were the first to be found in China.

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History of Tianjin

The land where Tianjin lies today was created in historical times by sedimentation of various rivers entering the sea at Bohai Gulf (渤海湾), including the Yellow River, which entered the sea in this area at one point.

The opening of the Grand Canal of China during the Sui Dynasty prompted the development of Tianjin into a trading center.

Tianjin was promoted to a prefecture in 1725. Tianjin County was established under the prefecture in 1731.

In 1860, Tianjin was turned to a trade port after Qing Dynasty failed in the Second Opium War between Qing and Britain-France Alliance. Between 1895 and 1900, Britain and France were joined by Japan, Germany and Russia, and even by countries without other Chinese concessions such as Austria-Hungary, Italy and Belgium, in establishing self-contained concessions in Tianjin, each with its own prisons, schools, barracks and hospitals. These nations left many architectural reminders of their rule, notably churches and thousands of villas. Today those villas provide an exotic flavor to Tianjin.

In July 1900, the Eight-Nation Alliance attacked and occupied Tianjin. They soon established the Tianjin Provisional Government, composed of representatives from each of the occupying forces (Russian, British, Japanese, German, French, American, Austro-Hungarian, and Italian). Tianjin was governed by this council until August 15, 1902 when the city was returned to Qing control. Eminent Qing General Yuan Shikai headed efforts to remake Tianjin into a modern city, establishing the first modern Chinese police force here. In 1907, Yuan supervised China's first modern democratic elections for a county council.

Tianjin was established as a municipality of China in 1927.

On July 30, 1937, Tianjin fell to Japan, as part of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese occupation lasted until August 15, 1945, the surrender of Japan marking the end of World War II.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China Tianjin was turned into a municipality directly under the central authorities.

Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions of Tianjin

* Huangyaguan Great Wall ( Huangyaguan, 黄崖关)

* Fort Dagukou( Dagukou, 大沽口)

* Antique Market (Guwan Shichang, 古玩市场)

* Tianjin Ancient Culture Street (Guwenhua Jie, 古文化街)

* Water Park (Shuishang Leyuan, 水上乐园)

* Mount Panshan (Panshan, 盘山)

* Temple of Great Compassion (Dabeiyuan, 大悲院)

* Tianjin Massacre (Wanghailou Church, 望海楼教堂)

The Shuishang Park (Water Park), the largest park in Tianjin, covers an area of 200 hectares. Half of the park is water surface, which is divided into the east lakes, the west lake and several smaller lakes. Inlaid on the lakes are 13 islets, which are decorated with pavilions, towers and terraces and connected with one another by exquisite curved bridges, arch bridges and dykes lined with weeping willows, giving a unique charm to the park.


People from urban Tianjin speak Tianjin dialect, which comes under the Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. Despite its proximity toBeijing, Tianjin dialect sounds quite different from Beijing dialect, which provides the basis for Putonghua, official spoken language of thePeople’s Republic of China.

Tianjin cuisine places a heavy focus on seafood, due to Tianjin’s proximity to the sea. Prominent menus include the Eight Great Bowls (八大碗), a combination of eight mainly meat dishes. It can be further classified into several varieties, including the rough (粗), smooth (S: 细 / T: 細), and high (高). The Four Great Stews (四大扒) refers actually to a very large number of stews, including chicken, duck, seafood, beef, and mutton.

Tianjin also has several famous snack items. Goubuli (狗不理包子) is a traditional brand of baozi (包子) (steamed buns with filling) that is famous throughout China. Guifaxiang (桂发祥麻花) is a traditional brand of mahua (麻花) (twisted dough sticks). Erduoyan (耳朵眼炸糕) is a traditional brand of fried rice cakes.

Tianjin is a respected home base of Beijing opera, one of the most prestigious forms of Chinese opera.

Tianjin is famous for its stand up and comedians including Guo Degang and Ma Sanli. Ma Sanli (马三立) (1914 – 2003), an ethnic Hui and longtime resident of Tianjin, is paramountly respected in China for his xiangsheng (相声), a hugely popular form of Chinese entertainment similar to stand-up comedy. Ma Sanli delivered some of his xiangsheng in the Tianjin dialect (天津话).

Yangliuqing (Green Willows), a town about 15 km west of Tianjin’s urban area and the seat of Tianjin’s Xiqing District, is famous for its popular Chinese New Year-themed, traditional-style, colourful wash paintings (杨柳青年画). Tianjin is also famous for Zhang’s clay figurines (泥人张) which are a type of colourful figurine depicting a variety of vivid characters, and Tianjin’s Wei’s kites (风筝魏), which can be folded to a fraction of their full sizes, are noted for portability.

Transportation in Tianjin

Railways in Tianjin

Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Harbin are the two main stem railways. Tianjin-Bazhou railway is connected with Beijing-Kowloon trunk line, making Tianjin a transportation hub in north China. New high speed trains that went into service just before the Olympics in 2008 on the Beijing to Tianjin line reach 350 kph and connect the cities in 30 minutes

Highways in Tianjin

Several national highways run through Tianjin, which connects every county and town. Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu, Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Shenyang are the three express Highways.

Airways in Tianjin

Binhai Airport is the largest cargo terminal n north China, with nearly 300 flight courses to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other major cities in China as well as to Japan.

Waterways in Tianjin

As an export oriental international sea port, Tianjin port is the largest sea port in north China, and possesses the largest container dock in the country. Over 20 ocean routes connect Tianjin with over 170 countries and regions throughout the world.

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